You may be asking, what does this strange term mean? Please, rest assure, keyword cannibalization isn’t as freaky as it sounds. Keyword cannibalization happens when several pages are targeting the same keyword or keyword term. It’s fairly easy to deal with once you understand why it’s happening and how to correct it.
Keyword cannibalization within your site can affect the rank of certain pages. For example, say we are working on a car dealership’s website. Typically, you will find a homepage and pre-inventory page on this site. Let’s focus on these two pages. First, it is important to examine the types of content we would include on a homepage and pre-owned inventory page. Homepages are crucial. Oftentimes we attempt to direct the most traffic to the homepage; as a result, we want to include keywords that appeal to a variety of search queries. On the other hand, the pre-owned inventory page is a more specific, goal-oriented page that is not as broad as the homepage. With this being said, it would be smart to use similar terms for each of these pages, since both pages yield high traffic. So how can we do this effectively without creating keyword cannibalization?
Ideally, when someone searches for “used vehicle” we would like the pre-owned inventory page to rank higher than the home page since it addresses the search more fittingly. Using exact match targeted terms for the used inventory page and generic terms on the homepage is a way to combat keyword cannibalization. Make use of the title tag, meta description, headlines and content of specific pages like pre-owned inventory. Incorporate these keyword terms carefully into the home page by using variations or parts of these exact match targeted terms.
Although keyword cannibalization will not get you penalized, it is worth paying attention to since it could affect a user’s experience. Ultimately, we want to assist the user in finding the most relevant page to their search, saving them time while getting your company noticed!